So this weekend, the remaining two eggs hatched. The third baby is by far the largest of the bunch, at almost twice the size of the others. It was born with no yolk sac left at all. Baby #4 was born like the others. About the same size, and with the yolk. I had to order more mysids already. I still haven’t seen them eating, but all the food I give them disappears eventually. And they seem to be pretty voracious once I’m not looking.
This morning, the 2 hatchlings were all over the net. I think they ate most of the mail order mysids I put in there yesterday, so I tossed a few in there, but pretty much as soon as the lights come on, they try to hide. I’ve also noticed they tend to flash reddish brown if I get too close and they want to signal annoyance at me. Or maybe fear? Anyways, they get instantly reddish brown if I get too close.
The remaining two eggs still look about the same this morning. Tomorrow will mark one week that they’ve been here. Ordering 100 mysids (which I think might last us about a week here, although I’m supplementing this with amphipods and homegrown shrimp) cost me $30. Realizing I’m looking at a pretty good chunk of change, I modified my Patreon so that I’ll be incorporating full videos and a journal comic about cuttlefish to help with defraying the cost of keeping these little buggers fed!
You also get all the comic stuff, too. I’ll still be posting here, but the videos over there will be longer and plus you get all my art stuff, too. Check out patreon.com/blackmudpuppy!
Nothing much happened yesterday, aside from one of the eggs deflating.
This morning, however, we’re joined by hatchling #2.
It still has a bit of yolk sac attached, but looks in good shape!
#2 detached from his yolk sac almost immediately and is already a strong swimmer. He is almost as big as Lazarus is now, so the extra baking time in the egg must’ve helped him. I moved him into the same net breeder as Laz.
Not much changed today. The main development was Lazarus has learned to hide pretty effectively in the chaeto. At lunch, I almost couldn’t find him. He also reacts to light more now, usually taking cover in the algae when I turn the tank lights on or try shining a light. He’s definitely eating, as I’m now 100% certain the debris on the bottom of the net is what’s left of his meals.
The other eggs are about the same, one of them seems a tiny bit bigger.
Last night, I noticed Laz clinging to the front side of the breeder net, where a few mysid shrimp had accumulated outside the net, between the net and the glass. There are definitely some mysids in there with him, but I’m worried that they aren’t enough. I tried netting some of the rogue mysids with a dip net, but they’re either too fast, or too small and the net not fine enough. I’ve already tried using a soda bottle with some fish food in it, but all I caught were snails. So last night, at 10 pm I drive to the grocery store and bought a turkey baster, and since it was my one and only purchase, definitely got me a weird look from the cashier. I’m not great at it, and I’m only catching like one mysid at a time, but it’s working. I think I may just need to improve my technique.
I think Lazarus is eating, but I haven’t directly observed him. He looks visibly bigger. I also think I saw movement in one of the 3 remaining eggs last night.
EDIT: EVENING UPDATES
Tonight when I got home from work I went to another aquarium shop across town, that sells copepods. I was hoping for the big, Tigger pods which are sold in little pre-packaged bottles and kept in the fridge. Unfortunately, all they had were microscopic ‘pods that I am assured were in the bag I bought that was totally not just a tiny bag of saltwater. Oh well, at a $1 an ounce, maybe it’ll start some pods growing in my tank that aren’t in there already. I also grabbed some more chaeto algae (thinking maybe I can lure the mysids into that) and a “bristle worm trap” which I thought might work to catch more mysids or amphipods. This morning, I ordered 100 mysids to supplement what I’ve been grabbing out of the tank, so they should be here Thursday.
I’m going to venture to say now that Lazarus is definitely bigger. I’m 80% sure it isn’t my imagination. I still haven’t actually seen him eat anything, but tonight I saw him move, by himself, which was a first. And I managed to record it on my phone. I don’t think he likes me staring at him, so maybe he prefers eating in solitude. I think I’m also seeing dead pod carcasses on the bottom of the net. A good sign. Not much else going on with the eggs tonight, I occasionally think I see fleeting glimpses of something, but not sure.
Here’s the video I took:
Yesterday, after 4 months of preparing a cuttlefish aquarium, my order of 5 Dwarf Cuttlefish (Sepia bandensis) eggs arrived. The package came around 10:23 in the morning and had been overnighted from California.